A BRAVE youngster battling leukaemia saw his dreams come true when he took to the pitch as mascot for Newcastle United.

Football mad Jude Grayson, of Spennymoor, who has just undergone his latest round of chemotherapy, joined his favourite team yesterday at St James’ Park, in Newcastle, when they took on Manchester United.

The seven-year-old met the players in the dressing rooms before picking favourite player Jamaal Lascelles to lead him out of the tunnel.

Jude was awarded the role of mascot following a competition held by the Angel Trust, based in Bishop Auckland.

The charity works to offer a range of support and services to those in need in County Durham and fund vital projects to improve the community.

Jude was given the honour after the prize was donated by the charity’s ambassador, Paul Anderson and wife his Paula.

Prior to the event, Jude said: “It’s great. I never thought it would happen. I am looking forward to meeting Joelinton and the other players.”

Mr Anderson, who runs a Bishop Auckland accountancy firm with his wife, said: “I have donated sponsorship of the day to promote the Angel Trust and the mascot goes with that.

“There were a lot of worthy applicants for the prize. Jude stood out because of his love for football and what he has had to go through. There were 18 different people who had nominated him. I am so pleased for Jude being able to be mascot on the day.”

Angel Trust chief executive and founder Clair McGregor said the day was one of the most emotional, proudest days of her life.

She said: "Jude was so determined to walk out on the pitch despite having a really bad few weeks. To be able to grant Jude this wish is incredible and fulfilling and makes all of our hard work worthwhile.

"I'd like to give special thanks to our ambassador Paul Anderson whose help has made Jude’s dream come true."

Jude has become known for his bravery prompting an online fundraiser.

Nearly £3,000 has been raised with the total still climbing.

To donate, visit the GoFundMe page under the name Jude Grayson.